Three ways to bring a fresh perspective into your business, but all of these are important.

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– Hey everybody! Drew McLellan here from Agency Management Institute. This week, I’m coming to you from home in Des Moines, Iowa. As you can see, or if you follow me on any social media, you know that the McLellan household has a new family member. Meet Heather the Charcoal Lab. Now, Heather’s been around for about a week. She’s about nine weeks old and she has taught me a valuable lesson, or maybe reminded me of a valuable lesson that I think applies to our work. Before I get into that, quick thanks to Abe for the Buffalo Bison shirt. Sorry, Abe, that Heather is covering that up, but anyway, so here’s what I have experienced in the weeks since Heather came home, which is everything is not what you think it is. An air conditioner cover is a mountain to climb on, a piece of furniture, unfortunately, is something to chew on, a pot or pan is something to play in. All of a sudden, everything is new and interesting and we’re spending a lot of time investigating things that I have seen a million times over. It reminds me a lot of when I took Kelsey, my daughter, to Disney World for the first few times. I had been there thousands of times, I had seen every inch of those parks, but seeing them through her eyes gave me a whole new lens, gave me a fresh perspective, and you know what? I think we need to bring that to our work too. So I think there are some ways for us to bring a puppy’s perspective to our work. Fresh eyes idea number one: When you are about to take work to show to a client, bring in a team member who has not worked on that account, who is not familiar with the client’s likes or dislikes, but is really going to look at the work through the eyes of the audience and just with a fresh perspective. Idea number two: Why not do a little spot secret shopping for your clients because they too have jaded eyes. They’ve looked at their own retail shop or call center or however chat bot, however they interact with their own organization, it’s old to them, they’re used to it, so why not you? And I’m not talking about a big study where you’re getting paid, I’m just saying go into their store on a Saturday, trigger a chat at 11:00 pm, call the customer help line on a Saturday morning, and just give them some feedback. Just say, “Hey, I was just curious about what would happen, here’s what happened good or bad.” Another way that we absolutely need fresh eyes, and I have a lot of agencies that struggle with this, it sounds ridiculously simple, but proofreading. We cannot proof our own work. When I write something, I never, ever catch my own mistakes. My eyes and my brain substitute what I meant to write for what I actually wrote, and when someone else proofs my work, all of a sudden the of is not an if or any of those silly mistakes become incredibly apparent to them and I completely missed them. So three ways to bring a fresh perspective into your business, but all of these are important because here’s the deal: Whether you’ve been in the business for a year or you’ve owned your own shop for 20 years, our brain tries to help us by giving us shortcuts, and sometime those shortcuts are awesome, but sometimes those shortcuts mask mistakes or opportunities so a fresh set of eyes will help you see the opportunities, will help you spot and fix the mistakes, and may give you an insight that you’ve walked by over and over and over again. So give it a try. I’ll talk to you next week.

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